God is God, and I am not. A lovely, long form account of a life well-lived.
Last summer, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church approved a measure affirming the right of transgendered members to be eligible for both lay and ordained ministry. Before the vote, pioneering Episcopal LGBT group Integrity USA distributed copies of "Voices of Witness: Out of the Box" to Convention delegates. The short video profiles several transgender Episcopalians, including clergy, as well as cisgender supporters. In other Episcopal LGBT news, the Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington DC announced last week that the Cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex weddings effective immediately.
But I kept all of my gay theology books hidden in a box in the top of my closet, and I tore the book covers off in case someone should walk in while I was reading them. Gay man leaves fundamentalism, finds alcoholism, and is rescued by Anglicanism.
Who owns your church? A few congregations disagree with the direction their church heirarchy is going. They vote to leave. Who gets the buildings and the church property? If you are politically connected, you might try to change the law in your favor.
Is Catholic-Anglican Reconciliation the only way forward? The Anglicans aren't Protestant, they're Catholics! In 1920 the Church of England - Anglicans - called for its reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and in 1925 the Catholic Ecumenical movement sought to make the Anglicans an autonomous Catholic church with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its patriarch. It would have been similar to the Coptic and Syro-Malabarese churches. The move was quashed by Pope Pius XI, who ended the ecumenical movement there and then. If conservative Anglicans chose this third way, instead of infighting over sexuality and gender issues or establishing a new model for membership, it could keep its married priests, its land, its churches, it's membership, and the Archbishop of Canterbury would still have a job.
Katherine Jeffords, Bishop of Nevada, has been elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, becoming the first female Anglican
Having been admonished by the global church about Bishop Robinson and homosexuality, ECUSA has aparently decided to put another thumb in the eye of conservatives.
Meet Becca Stevens, Episcopal priest, Tennessean of the year, Nashvillian of the year, author, podcaster and wife of an equally cool husband. In addition to tending her flock and raising a family, the Rev. Becca runs Magdalene House, a residential program for women overcoming lives of addiction and prostitution that has an 87% success rate. Women in the program work at Thistle Farms, making all natural lotions, balms and bath products that put Mary Kaye to shame.
This link does not involve dogs or turtles (mutants, ninjas or otherwise). Rather, it's an insightful interview with Bishop Gene Robinson, conducted by a divinity school student. [more inside]
Rev. Gene Robinson's controversial aspirations to be the first gay bishop in the Episcopal church have been put on hold over accusations regarding allegedly inappropriate touching in public conversation and an indirect hyperlink to pornography via a group called Outright that says its mission is "to create safe, positive, and affirming environments for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and questioning people ages 22 and under." They also say that the would-be bishop is not affiliated with the group in any way. The church's investigation into the matter, CNN has just reported, is now complete and the vote will soon be rescheduled.
"Listen up: God isn't Santa" says a retired bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church. The basis of prayer has always seemed like a paradox to me. I'm glad to see that John Shelby Spong agrees.